60 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2012 Last revised: 15 Aug 2013
Date Written: August 12, 2013
This paper investigates the effects of shareholder protection law on corporate R&D investment. I find that the institutional protection of shareholder benefits reduces both underinvestment and overinvestment in R&D projects. Legal shareholder rights significantly increase R&D investment for firms that may underinvest, but reduce R&D for firms that may overinvest. Shareholder protection further enhances the growth of firms in R&D intensive industries, and promotes the economic growth of innovative countries. The results consistently show that enforcing stronger legal shareholder protection can help firms achieve an overall more efficient capital allocation to productive R&D investment.
Keywords: Legal shareholder protection, underinvest, overinvest, R&D
JEL Classification: G15, G31
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